Fall is that time of year when nature offers up some of her best eye candy. Add a couple of photogenic people like Monique and Alex and you have great photo ops. We did a combination of close ups, average distance and wider shots like the one below that feature Monique and Alex against the fall scenery. (Click to enlarge any photo for a more detailed view)
The emphasis is on the couple, but never shy away from going a little wide (next photo below). Monique and Alex are still the highlight while featuring the colorful fall foliage.
The Weather, Natural Light and Clouds
The weather on shooting day is overcast with the occasional gentle glow of sunshine. This works out really well. Regular daylight isn’t always the best. The dynamic range of bright sunlight is extreme and can cause bright areas to be blow out with details that can’t be retrieved in editing. On the other hand, the opposite can occur where dark areas are underexposed to solid black. An overcast day narrows the extremes of sunlight’s dynamic range capturing all the details. The clouds act like a natural filter.
Wide angles mainly with the Canon 24-105mm L Series and some Telephoto captures for those even softer backgrounds using the Canon 100-400mm L Series.
The wide angle lens is better for getting all the details in focus when you want to take advantage of the scenery. Just couple steps above the lowest f-number with a bit of distance and fairly wide focal length and things should be well focused from front to back when needed. I tend to skip down to a low f-number for a larger aperture to soften the background to focus attention on Monique and Alex.
The Telephoto lens used at a distance still captures the beautiful fall colors but produces even softer backgrounds than the wider lens .
Monique and Alex are naturals. Within about 15 minutes of shooting, they relaxed and just went with the flow while being expressive and having some fun with it. Add some incidentals like kittens walking into the scene (see the thumbnail gallery below) and some gentle gust of wind blowing through Monique’s hair…what more could a photographer ask for?
When Monique and Alex first came out, they were dressed perfectly for a fall photo shoot wearing denim and neutral colors. Casual, comfortable and at ease.
Alex’s father John took me for tour of the area before we got started and I picked out about 4 or 5 spots. One was a the Campbell farm were I asked for permission to use the property. The owner was more than happy to oblige for a bride-to-be.
I don’t think I’ve ever been declined when asking for site permissions and any budding photographer shouldn’t be shy in meeting new people. Even when a farmer who once told me his shotgun comes in handy with grin on his face. As long as he was laughing, all is good.
Check List and Preparation
Pre-shoot prep is a must
- Batteries and back ups fully charged the night before
- Lots of extra storage media (cards)
- Clean all your lenses (blower, lens fluid, lens tissue). Never put the fluid on the lens, apply to the tissue. Work in a circular motion from the center outwards. A single drop of fluid will usually do. Too much and you’ll leave streaks.
- Check your gear pack and don’t underestimate what you think you might need. You might leave something behind you could have used in an unforeseen circumstance. It will happen.
- Have fun with it.
Printing Options and Tips for Select Photos
A few photographers do professional in house printing. Having an ink jet and photo paper is not good enough – it has to be professional grade equipment with the know-how to use it.
In house we produce large 13X19 prints using only high quality ultra chrome pigment inks on archival papers, but most rewarding is that the print process is managed and fine tuned for color and exposure.
Plaque Mounted and Canvas Frame Prints
In the last few years, I’ve become more particular to plaque mounting prints. The absence of glass means no glare from any angle of view.
There are some services that can create great photos on canvas. This is more than a trend, it’s become quite common and reasonably priced. Like plaque mounting, canvas prints have the advantage of no glass glare.
Traditional Mat and Framed Prints
I’m not discounting traditional framing. Some clients still love a nicely mounted, mated and framed print that accents a favorite photo. Most frame shops have the experience and know-how to accent (not overpower) your favorite photo. I almost always go with their suggestions.
Monique and Alex were great subjects to work with. All the best!
MAMA supports the creative minds of the planet earth. If you come across somebody doing anything interesting and out of the ordinary, or just something that makes you smile, we’d like to know about it.
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